Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Fallen Warrior

 The summer I was 17 years old my Grandma took me to California to visit my Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins.

They live in Oxnard, California  which is where my Uncle met my Aunt when he was stationed there during his Navy days.My Aunt's extended family lives in that area. During my first visit to their home, I got to meet them.

This is my Uncle PeeWee. He has the heart of a giant. He is married to my Aunt's sister, Henrietta. Although his wife and I share no genetics, we have matching thumbs. If you ever meet me {or Henrietta} in person, you might note that we have unusually shaped thumbs.

His daughters, Cyndi and April befriended me during my visits. We visited the beach together in Cyndi's new Volkswagon Cabriolet. We swam the night away in their backyard pool. It was during my very first visit to their pool that I ran smack into the screen door and totally knocked it out of its track!

They were with me for my first ever trip to Disneyland. It was April, who showed me that if you lick the back of a gummy bear they stick to your clothing. We ran all over the park and had a great time.

Over the years, I have returned. Visiting with this side of my family each time. We have grown up. Gotten jobs, had children, went on living our lives.

April has a daughter. She is a swimmer. If I remember correctly, April was a great swimmer herself in high school. I fully expect to see her in the Olympics.

April was diagnosed with Colon Cancer late 2010 just as I was finishing my treatments for Hodgkins Lymphoma. She has been such a warrior with such an amazing determination and outlook.

April ended her fight this past Friday night. She left this earthly home and moved on to a heavenly one.

Rest my loved one. Rest.

I ask for your prayers to guide and comfort her family. I know her Momma and Pappa's hearts are broken. I know her big sister has carried a heavy load for a long time. And I know her daughter has got to feel her absence more than anyone.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bon Jovi Forever!

This past weekend I had a date with my teen crush.  

Bon Jovi came to my hometown this weekend.  For twenty-six years I have been attending his concerts. 
They started the concert off with a bang opening with What The Water Made Me. You Give Love a Bad Name and Raise Your Hands quickly followed. 

The stage looked simple enough. Then the concert started. And out of no where comes these blocks from the floor and down from the ceiling. All different shapes. Light being projected onto them.  Turning this simple stage into something cool.

If there is one song that speaks directly to me, it is It's My Life. When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, parts of this song just repeated in my head.  I had cancer and I could not afford to say silent prayers, nor could I afford to lose faith. I needed to be heard. I needed to do it my way. It was my life. And now or never, I had to fight for it. 

I am sure when the song was written it was never to be about fighting for your life against cancer. But some where in my dark hour, I heard it and made it mine.  There might have been thousands of people at the concert, but honestly, when he sang It's My Life, he sang it for me.

We had good seats. I mean, we were not in "the circle" but we had decent seats. There was a catwalk right in front of us. Jon came out on the catwalk (even closer to me) and sang a trio of ballads; Wanna Make a Memory,  Bed of Roses, and I'll Be There For You.  

I am not sure what mesmerized me the most. Jon or the crowd. From the rows right in front of him to the back of the house all eyes were fixed on him.

 My friend Lori made the comment that if he would have asked us to drink Kool-Aid, the crowd would have. I think she is probably correct. 

They even played my friend Meeghan's favorite song..Who Says You Can't Go Home. 

 One of the super cool things they did was bring down these blocks from the ceiling and put very sexy computer generated girls on them. The girls danced their way through Bad Medicine.

 Over two and half hours of old Bon Jovi and new Bon Jovi.  Sadly, no Richie for this concert. He was missed. It seemed to me that Jon compensated for his absence. He played guitar nearly every song. I don't recall him doing that in the previous concerts I have attended.

Twenty-six years ago, five of them stood arm-in-arm saying good-bye to the crowd. It is very odd to only see three. I hope what ever is going on can be resolved. But I know great bands before this one have broken up. I just pray that is not the case here.

Thank you, Bon Jovi, for another great night. I shall see you again, sometime in the future!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WW: Pavlova

It's my birthday. Don't judge, but I like to make my own dessert on my birthday. I pick something I have never had. Something I want to try. Something I will be proud to say...I made that.

This year I made a Pavlova. In case you don't know it is a meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. It originates in Australia...or New Zealand. They can't decide. They both claim it.  I'll let them argue while I eat it!

 I can proudly say....I made this. It was actually pretty easy. This is turning out to be a not so wordless post!

Oh well, it's my birthday. I am allowed to bend the rules.

I am linking up to these Wordless Wednesday Post:
Wordless Wednesday
Posh On A Budget
Mama to 4 Blessings
Cookin For My Captain
Blog She

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1973 Argosy "The Twinkie"

A few years ago my brother called me. He told me that a cousin of mine had an old camper for sale. "One of those silver bullets" he said.

My heart skipped a beat. I have a passion for vintage and I have long dreamed of owning a "silver bullet" aka Airstream camper.

I called my cousin, he did have a camper he was interested in selling. As I soon learned it was just sitting on the back of his property being used as storage, we headed his way.

He charged me $150.00 for the camper that turned out to be a 1973 Argosy '20.

I remember driving home with the camper. We had borrowed a truck and we were pulling this old beat up camper, with a sprung door that did not even latch shut and I had the biggest smile on my face. Like I had a secret and could not wait to tell the whole world!


We have owned the 1973 Argosy since 2006. We used it a lot the first summer we had it but we have not used it much at all since 2007. When we brought it home in 2006, the door was severely sprung. Lucky for us back then my sister-in-law was married to an airplane mechanic. He remade us a new door.  The photo below is of the old door. We camped the entire first year with a broken door!

Restoring "The Twinkie" as we call it, is our new project. 

This past weekend, with the help of a friend, we made an assessment of what we needed to work on.
  • There is currently a water leak although we have it isolated to the kitchen sink.
  • There is a leak around the toilet; we think just a new gasket.
  • There is a soft spot in the bathroom floor which might indicate a need for a new floor.
  • The shower does not work.
  • The furnace does not work.
  • The hot water heater does not work.
  • The strike-bolt on the door is broken.
  • The lights are hit or miss.
  • There are many missing light covers on the outside.
  • The propane tanks are old and no longer meet current safety standards.
  • New curtains.
  • New upholstery.
  • It is missing the removable bunk bed. 
  • No awning. 
  • Exterior Paint

 It only feels fair to list the things that do work:

  • The floor feels solid throughout the rest of the camper.
  • There are no leaks, other than the toilet and kitchen sink.
  • The air conditioner works.
  • All the windows are intact.
  • Most of the screens are intact.
  • The current seat cushions do not look horrible.
  • The stove works.
  • The refrigerator {original} still works. 
  • Good tires
We can never fix everything at once, so we prioritized our projects for this year. If we accomplish this list, I think "The Twinkie" will be useable. 
  1. Fix the door's strike-bolt.
  2. Fix the water leak with the sink. Which may be as simple as changing the faucet.
  3. Fixing the toilet.
  4. Replacing the hot water heater.
  5. I am also exploring the re-upholstery on the seats. 
I have already ordered the parts to fix the door. Thank goodness it was just the strike-bolt and not the entire handle as they have been discontinued and currently cost a fortune!

Let the rehabilitation begin!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Play Ball...Like a Girl!

We started a new adventure at our house. An all girls t-ball team. 

The weather has not cooperated with us so we have only had 2 1/2 practices. There are a few things that stand out as different with girls T-Ball versus boys.


The color pink.  There may not be crying in baseball but there can...and is..the color PINK. 

Not just in our clothing choices. We have pink bats, pink gloves, pink sports bags. We have PINK!

We also have sparkles. Who needs cleats when you can play baseball in Sketcher's Sparkle Toes tennis shoes. Why hasn't the major leagues thought of this?

 And my favorite...we have hair bows. Boys may wear baseball hats but girls wear hair bows. Really cute large ones! In fact, we need larger helmets because they don't fit. Girls have more hair than boys. I think someone needs to re-invent the batting helmet to allow for hair bows.

Maybe she can give her new teammates lessons in eating sunflower seeds?  Remember last year when she finally learned how? You can read about My Proud Parenting Moment here!

One thing is the and friends go hand-in-hand. 

In any color!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It Is ALL About The Smile

Yesterday we crossed a milestone. The Boy's braces came off.

He had a crossbite. Which is believed to be caused by mouth breathing. He had surgery to fix that issue then got braces on his teeth. I was still doing chemo when he got braces.  So many things have changed in two years.

He is a little more responsible than he was. When I ask to see his smile, he no longer gives me a silly funny face. {He still might show me chewed up, unswallowed food in his mouth.}

Back then it was still okay to hug your mom. Now it is not.

He also did not have a driver's license. Now he does.

We use to be the same height. Now he towers over me.

He wanted a mohawk back then. Now he has his ears pierced.

Sorry, I just need time to slow down a little.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WW: My Life Has Changed

My life has been forever changed. 

My son is now a licensed driver.

 I have entered a whole new level of parenting.

I am linking up to these other great Wordless Wednesday Blogs:

Wordless Wednesday

Carrie With Children

Energizer Bunnies Mommy Reports

Hardly A Housewife